Hockey: Aspen comes up short against Doherty | AspenTimes.com

Hockey: Aspen comes up short against Doherty

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS – Head coach Al Butler said his young Aspen hockey team looked lost in last week’s season-opening loss to Battle Mountain. Friday, a visibly more composed and confident Skiers squad took the ice against Doherty in Colorado Springs – and nearly orchestrated a dramatic comeback win.

Aspen overcame a two-goal deficit with some third-period heroics, battling back to square the game at four. A late defensive breakdown proved costly, however, as the Spartans pulled ahead with one minute to play and held on for a 5-4 victory.

“We keep improving game by game,” Butler said. “The goals we gave up were basically caused by bad positioning on our part. There was a little too much running around.”

Doherty caught the Skiers (0-2) out of position in the first period, jumping out to a 2-1 lead in the first 15 minutes. The Aspen defense surrendered two more scores in the second period and trailed, 4-2, heading into the second intermission.

“That second period was our downfall,” Butler admitted. “We didn’t play our positions and they took advantage of it.”

The resilient Skiers mounted a late comeback, and Eric Abrahamovich produced the game-tying goal with about 3 minutes, 30 seconds to play.

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“It was a grinder’s type of goal,” Butler said. “We kind of hemmed them in a little bit and got some good opportunities. A rebound came out and [Abrahamovich] knocked it. It found its way in.”

All momentum was lost soon after, however, as Doherty went ahead for good. Aspen generated multiple shots on net in the final seconds but could not produce the equalizer.

Gus Gregory, Colter Birk and Taylor Mayer scored goals for the Skiers, who will look to rebound this afternoon. They will face off with Fountain Valley at Honnen Ice Arena on the campus of Colorado College in Colorado Springs. The puck is slated to drop at 12:45 p.m.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com